Hemorrhoids: Avenues of Treatment

Hemorrhoids are a fairly common problem solvable through various avenues of treatment that are based on the individual as well as the severity and type of the hemorrhoids.  In this article, we will be exploring different types of hemorrhoids their causes, and their according paths to wellness.

 

What causes Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids have several contributing causes, the most common being repeated straining while having a bowel movement. Straining inhibits blood flow into and out of these areas, resulting in the pooling of blood and the enlargement of vessels.  For this reason, a severe case of constipation or diarrhea can also lead to a case of hemorrhoids. Additionally, pregnant women are at increased risk of developing hemorrhoids because of the pressure that is placed on these veins by the uterus.

Different Classifications of Hemorrhoids: 

 To start with, there are two types of hemorrhoids based on location: Internal and External.

Internal Hemorrhoids:  Internal hemorrhoids occur as a result of veins in the anus swelling and breaching the anal wall.  Though they will typically not cause you pain, you will be alerted to them by the presence of blood when you go to the bathroom. Generally, internal hemorrhoids are not regarded as having the same severity as external hemorrhoids.  However, please note that symptoms associated with internal hemorrhoids are similar to symptoms of colon cancer and other diseases of the digestive system. We recommend that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, that you discuss with Dr. Martinez, as she specializes in the treatment of Colon and Rectal Cancers, Anal cancers, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Diverticular Disease.

 

External Hemorrhoids: What often comes to mind when we think of hemorrhoids are the external kind – which are oftentimes painful and prone to irritation and itching.  These types of hemorrhoids are visible outside the anal sphincter, and the physical symptoms associated with them are hard to miss.  As with internal hemorrhoids, you may notice blood on toilet paper or in the toilet when using the bathroom.  You may also notice itching or painful lumps around the anus that feel as if they are swollen.   If you experience these symptoms persistently, you should schedule an appointment.

Medical professionals commonly use the below classification system to classify the severity of the hemorrhoids:

1st Degree Hemorrhoids – Internal hemorrhoids that will bleed but are not in a prolapsed state.

2nd Degree Hemorrhoids – Will bleed and are prolapsed, but will go back to their original state without medical intervention.

3rd Degree Hemorrhoids – Will bleed and are prolapsed – need to be pushed back.

4th Degree Hemorrhoids – Will bleed and prolapsed and cannot be pushed back.   It is recommended that you consult with the doctor if you are experiencing 4th degree hemorrhoids.

 

Treatment Options:

Again, depending on the type of hemorrhoid, different treatments are available after diagnosis.  If it is deemed that medical intervention is needed, then these fixative procedures can often be performed the same day by Dr. Martinez to alleviate your symptoms immediately.

Fixative Procedures for Hemorrhoid Treatment:

Injection: Internal hemorrhoids can be injected with a solution, which creates a scar and closes off the hemorrhoid to circulation, thus eliminating it.

Banding. Prolapsed hemorrhoids are often removed using a rubber-band method to cause ligation.

Coagulation or cauterization.

   Surgery.

These procedures vary in their methods, but have in common one objective: to disrupt the blood supply to the hemorrhoid and thus eliminate it from the body.

Prevention

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to avoid straining during bowel movements by keeping your stool soft.  Below are some tried and true methods to maintaining soft stool so you won’t have to strain.

Fiber: Fiber is found naturally in many different foods including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Beans are also an excellent source of fiber.  Increasing fiber in your diet will soften the stool and increase its bulk, which will help you avoid the need to strain during bowel movements.

 Fluids:  Drinking 6 – 8 glasses of water each day is an easy way to help keep stools soft.

Urgency: Waiting on a bowel movement when you feel the need to go can cause the stool to become dry and harder to pass later.

Exercise: Keep the flow.  Long periods of standing or sitting can increase the pressure on veins.   Also, any excess weight could be contributing to your hemorrhoids.

Call today for a free consultation, (631)257-5533.

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